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Applications open for Civic Leadership Academy

Three students with VT Engage encourage civic engagement

From: VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning and Inclusion & Belonging

With the fever pitch of election season passed, the deeper deliberate work of engaging and cooperating with fellow community members renews.

To help students engage effectively in public discourse and leadership, Inclusion & Belonging and VT Engage invite students to join its Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) within the Civic and Democracy Leadership Initiative.  

The academy will kick off with a retreat Jan. 20 – 22 to immerse participants in learning the basic tenets of democracy and finding common ground among deep differences of perspectives. Students will get to know each other, articulate and explore personal values, understand inherent tensions of civic issues, and practice applying emotional intelligence to discourse.

Over the course of seven weeks, students will meet to build skills to empathize with others’ perspectives, inquire and dialogue openly and constructively across differences, and lead with courage in the work of civil society. Each 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. session will include a community dinner, and the final session will invite university colleagues to recognize student success in a celebratory dinner.

Students will have the opportunity to expand their toolset for engaging in civic action through examining youth civic and social movements, navigating university and governance systems, and developing advocacy skills.

Graduates of the academy will earn a CLA certificate and be encouraged to mentor new participants and engage with the larger Virginia Tech student community in learning effective civic behavior and how to contribute to a thriving democracy.

To find out more or join, RSVP on GobblerConnect by Dec. 1. The academy is open to all students both graduate/professional and undergraduate regardless of major.

Questions and Accommodation Requests: If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, welcome! Please contact Jes Davis at or 540-231-6947 during regular business hours by Dec. 1.

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